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Area Businessman Honors Former Juniata Professor by Endowing Chair in Biology

(Posted April 30, 2007)

At left, Ken Rockwell, professor emeritus of biology, and David Goodmnan jr., president and CEO of Goodman & Sons.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- David Goodman Jr., a trustee on the Juniata College board of trustees and CEO of D.C. Goodman and Sons, an electrical and mechanical contracting firm in Huntingdon, has donated $1 million to Juniata College to endow the David K. Goodman Jr. \'74 Endowed Department of Biology Chair in Honor of Dr. Kenneth H. Rockwell \'57. Goodman, a native of Mount Union and a longtime Huntingdon resident and businessman, has always considered Ken Rockwell, professor emeritus of biology at Juniata, as one of his most influential mentors. Rockwell taught biology at Juniata from 1960 until his retirement in 2000. \"I met Ken Rockwell when I was 15 years old when I was taking a Juniata course during the summer,\" Goodman recalls. \"I was immediately awestruck. Not only did he know everything about my favorite subject (biology), he knew about the rest of the world. Later in life, I enjoyed the opportunity to work with Ken on the United Way fund drive and continued learning from him while serving together on the hospital board for twelve years. He showed the same concerns for people and his community that my father did. To teach and be involved in the community while maintaining his commitment to his family takes a special kind of person.\" \"David Goodman has always had the ability to recognize good people and his decision to honor Ken Rockwell, one of Juniata\'s most influential faculty members, with an endowed faculty chair in Ken\'s name is an honor for the college,\" says Juniata President Thomas R. Kepple. \"An endowed chair is a critical tool for colleges to attract and retain world-class faculty members.\" Goodman, in addition to his duties at Goodman & Sons, was a founding director of Nittany Financial Corporation, the parent company of Nittany Bank. When Nittany Bank was sold to National Penn Bank, in Boyertown, Pa., Goodman was asked to serve on the National Penn Bank\'s board of directors. He also is a director for Huntingdon County Business and Industry and the Huntingdon County United Way, where he has served previously as a board member, past president and past campaign chair. He also serves on the board of directors for the J.C. Blair Hospital Foundation, as well as the boards for Miller Auto Parts Co. in Huntingdon and Golden Eagle Asset Management Co. in New York City When he left Juniata in 1973 to enter his family\'s mechanical contracting business, Goodman became project manager for Goodman & Sons, a title he retained until 1988, when he was named president of the company. Goodman has served Juniata as a trustee since 2002, and has established an endowed scholarship at Juniata to honor his grandfather, called The D.C. Goodman Scholarship. Goodman\'s firm has been intertwined with Juniata since the 1950s, working on a variety of college construction and remodeling projects. Most recently, the company was the mechanical and electrical contractor for the von Liebig Center for Science and the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts Goodman\'s family educational history also spans nearly the entire history of Juniata. His grandmother, Ethel Mae Kyper, attended Brethren Normal School in the 1880s. Goodman is a member of the class of 1974 and his daughter, Alison Goodman, is a 2001 graduate, and currently teaches science at Huntingdon Area Middle School. Jill Keeney, professor and head of the biology department, will be the first recipient of the Goodman-Rockwell Chair in Biology. She joined the Juniata faculty in 1994. She earned a bachelor\'s degree in biochemistry from Penn State University in 1985, and went on to earn a doctorate in immunology in 1990 from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. In addition to introductory biology, she teaches courses in bioinformatics, advanced genetics and molecular biology techniques. She has developed a student-centered research program, and she has received major research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Ken Rockwell, professor emeritus of biology at Juniata and a Huntingdon resident, has a deep personal and professional connection to Juniata. His father, Donald Rockwell, was a longtime chemistry professor at the college, an inspirational educator who was instrumental in establishing Juniata\'s national reputation as a science education institution. Ken\'s mother, Katherine, taught chemistry courses in the home economics department and in Juniata\'s English conference program. She also initiated the effort to catalogue and archive Juniata\'s rare-book collection and other historical archives. Ken, who graduated from Juniata in 1957, followed in his father\'s footsteps, both as a career educator at Juniata and as an inspirational teacher and mentor for countless scientists, educators and college professors. He retired as professor emeritus in 2000. \"At its very core, Juniata College is sustained by the dynamic dialogue between students and faculty,\" Rockwell says. \"David\'s splendid gift aims directly at that core. It ensures that exciting, engaging, effective instruction in biological science will be present for student generations to come. That my name should continue, in any way, to be a part of all this is indeed a high honor, and I am deeply thankful to David for including me.\" After graduating from Juniata, Rockwell went on to earn a master\'s degree from Brown University in 1959. In 1960, he joined the Juniata faculty as an instructor and went on to earn a doctoral degree in zoology in 1967 from Penn State University. He continued to pursue educational opportunities throughout his career, taking sabbaticals at Stanford University (1973-1974), the University of Pennsylvania (1987) and the University of California-Davis (1987) for postdoctoral study. He taught general education courses and general biology courses as well as comparative anatomy, developmental biology and histology. In his last years at Juniata he developed a cultural analysis course on the history of technology, Perspectives in Technology. Rockwell received the Beachley Distinguished Professor Award in 1979 and served several terms as chairman of the Department of Biology. He also played a key role as one of the faculty liaisons for the planning and design of the von Liebig Center for Science. He also has been active in the Huntingdon community, serving on the Huntingdon Area Board of Education and on the board of directors for J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.